National

JAL hands details of new checks and rules to tackle flight crew boozing to government

Kyodo

Japan Airlines Co. submitted to the government Friday new rules concerning alcohol consumption by flight staff and measures to monitor enforcement, following a series of drinking-related problems at the company, the transport ministry said.

While the content of JAL’s report was to be disclosed later in the day, Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Keiichi Ishii said his ministry will conduct inspections on JAL and other domestic airlines in the near future, to check if members of their flight crews are following the regulations set by each airline.

“We are making maximum efforts to restore public confidence in aviation safety,” Ishii told a news conference after a Cabinet meeting.

Following drinking incidents involving JAL and other airlines last year, the ministry decided to introduce new rules on alcohol consumption by pilots and other flight crew members.

Alcohol tests were made mandatory for pilots before and after flights, and a ban was implemented on pilots being allowed to board if a Breathalyzer test finds them to have even a tiny amount of alcohol in their system.

JAL has come under scrutiny since a co-pilot was arrested by U.K. police in October for being around 10 times over the legal alcohol limit set under the country’s aviation law. He was later convicted in the U.K. and dismissed by JAL.

JAL has introduced new rules that prohibit pilots from drinking in a 24-hour period before a flight, and have mandated alcohol tests for all flight attendants before departure and after arrival.